Why are Neonicotinoids dangerous?
What can we use instead?
What are Neonicotinoids?
* Neonics are systemic pesticides, meaning they cannot be washed off and the entire plant becomes toxic, including the pollen and nectar.
* Neonics are water soluble, meaning they percolate into ground water and then into our rivers and streams, affecting soil life as well as aquatic ecosystems, not to mention our drinking water.
* Neonics are the most commonly used insecticides in the world, affecting bees, hummingbirds, birds, beneficial insects, fish and aquatic organisms, and people.
“We contend that the efficient and well- documented transmission of neonicotinoids through tripartite food chains—plant to pest to natural enemy—combined with the diversity of nontarget herbivores on treated plants threatens entire food webs by disrupting arthropod communities and interactions.”
Neonicotinoids pose undocumented threats to food webs - S. D. Frank and J. F. Tooker, PNAS, 9/2/2020
Read American Bird Conservancy's report, a report from 2015 about neonics in the foods served in Congress' dining halls. More information is available in ABC's article summarizing the many ways neonics impact food systems and ecosystems.
The evidence against neonicotinoids continues to pile up, just like dead bees. This article in National Geographic explains that U.S. agriculture is now 48 times deadlier for insects than it was 25 years ago, in large part because of the extensive use of neonics on farms all across the country.
"This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT."
For an in-depth look at the science of how these insecticides harm bees, read this comprehensive report from the Xerces Society summarizing hundreds of studies How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees.
Here is a well-written (and sad) article about the harm that neonics continue to cause to our environment from The Guardian, June 2021:
Toxic impact of pesticides on bees has doubled
Our pollinators - honeybees, native bees, butterflies, even moths - are in serious decline.
Better ways: Alternatives to Neonics
Join other concerned citizens who are choosing to NOT purchase plants which have been grown or treated with neonicotinoids. Ask your nursery or landscape maintenance company if they know about neonics.
Here is our list of of Rogue Valley Nurseries
offering plants grown without neonicotinoids.
Here is a list of safer solutions for yard and garden pests from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply.
Vote with your dollar --
Support farmers, stores, and nurseries that don't use neonics!
Thank to our friends at Beyond Toxics for this great graphic showing how neonics move through the ecosytem.